I Have A Story To Tell

I wanted this to be my first blog post because the whole purpose for my starting "SpunkyDiva Diaries" in the first place was to "tell my story" in hope that it would help others. My apologies up front for its length, but after reading it in its entirety I think you'll understand.

My hope is that you or someone you know can be encouraged and inspired to get out of a toxic relationship. It was not easy for me to do and it took way longer than I'd hoped. But, it can be done and you can start a new life.

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A petite Latina girl from a Midwest steel city

Born out of wedlock like so many of us are

Raised in a bi-racial, multi-cultural familia

All like skittles and rainbows

My inheritance though is DARK & twisted

A legacy of brokenness & family secrets

Leaving me abandoned, confused & unprotected

From within my own family and home

Insecure, inadequate and feeling like I’m never (good) enough

Decades wasted looking for L-O-V-E in ALL the WRONG places

I Have A Story To Tell.

NOTHING in this world could have prepared me for the life I’ve lived

Middle-income parents

Straight A student...High school valedictorian

College educated…MBA…AKA

New job…New move…New East Coast life

Looks, book smarts, street smarts

WHERE & HOW DID IT ALL GO WRONG? 

Cuz up til then I had it “going on”!!

Then one day my whole world shattered into a bazillion tiny pieces

My Rock…My (Step-)Daddy—the only REAL MAN I knew

Took his “last breath” as I sat in the hospital room working on my laptop

His passing left me a lost little girl all alone & grief stricken…

Broken and completely vulnerable

That recipe made me the easiest of targets

For a wolf in sheep’s clothing

I Have A Story To Tell.

This Devil in disguise preyed on me

Under the façade of being a “really GREAT GUY”

You see [ladies], he was average height, “easy on the eyes”

Muscular build, and had a great smile

He pretended to be everything I needed when I needed

A rock of support during my time of grief

And although the cloak of grief that consumed me was heavy & thick

There were early warning signs & red flags I definitely ignored

Yup, come to find out from the time we started dating

This monster was going through ALL of my personal things

I Have A Story To Tell.

I repeatedly experienced his:

• Temper tantrums

• Public embarrassment

• Verbal lashings

• Hours of “Soapbox” Lectures

• Military style interrogations

• Subtle put downs

• Manipulation & intimidation

• Name calling

• Threats & bullying

• Cat & mouse mind games

Eight years of sheer & utter HELL

Walking on constant eggshells

Scared to death of setting him off

Terrified to say the wrong word or do the wrong thing

Panic-stricken if I ever missed one of his phone calls

OR didn’t respond to texts in a timely manner

Tiptoeing around the ever changing moods

That come with being married to a “Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde”

Who paraded through life painting himself as the “poor victim”

So, I was damned if I do and damned if I don’t

Because it was never right & never good enough

I Have A Story To Tell.

NOTHING was EVER his fault.

It was ALWAYS “his way or the highway”… OR ELSE

I’d have “hell to pay” and he’d “teach me a lesson”

HE made up ALL the rules that never seemed to apply to him

He made me cut off childhood friends, male friends &

And picked arguments with my best friends

He demanded we have joint bank & Facebook accounts

Cuz he “needed” and demanded transparency & honesty

He tried to dictate what I read or watched on TV

Tell me how to wash dishes & how to cook

He said he didn’t like me wearing a ton of make-up or heels

Because he “preferred” my natural beauty

Controlling, possessive, demanding

Yet said he acted to "protect" his family

I Have A Story To Tell.

“My mother taught me to never hit a woman,” he said

So I guess he thought that everything else

Up to that point was fair game

Accusations like constant blows

Over and over…for 8 years straight

You’re a liar. You’re a cheater

If you lie…you cheat

ALL women are liars AND cheaters

You’re a tramp

You’re lazy

You’re selfish

If I’m controlling, then you’re controlling

If I'm an abuser, then so are you

No one else wanted you or put a ring on it

You’re pathetic

You’re too sickly

Oh, and his weapon of choice was SILENCE

Days, weeks, and up to a month’s worth of silent treatment

I Have A Story To Tell.

He’d go well of out his way

To ignore and avoid me at all costs

By spending countless hours at work

The gym or in other rooms of the house

OR God knows where with god knows who

He always managed to turn every argument

Or disagreement into being “all about him”

Even when he started it & was in the wrong

Apologies from him were rare & almost non-existent

And IF I got one, it lacked sincerity

My only times of peace

In that cold, depressed house

Came when he wasn’t there

The second I’d hear the alarm system go “beep-beep”

To announce he was home

My body would have this visceral physical reaction

My heart would beat so hard & so fast

I thought it was going jump out of my chest!

An intense heat would rush my body

And I’d get an intense, pounding headache

NOTHING could calm me down…

Not melatonin, alcohol

Or any other substance I’d try

He had no issues sharing space

Aka “our bed” when it was time to go to sleep

Or when HE decided he wanted to break

The wall of silence in exchange for sex

Any other time…it was a nightly tug of war

With the covers, the remote

And a chess game on how long

The TV stayed on or how loud it was

I Have A Story To Tell.

In the eye of this massive storm in my life,

I hit rock bottom

I’d become a shell of my old self

A mere 90 something pounds

No appetite…No will

Nothing good was going into my body

No nutrients or fluids

I had the shakes, chills and tremors

And my hair was falling out

OHHH, the aches & pains & constant fatigue

No strength to stay on this “crazy cycle”

That had become our “norm”

The only things my body released

Were floods of stinging tears and green bile

I never thought about harming myself or committing suicide

But, I simply did NOT care

If I disappeared for good from this world

At least then I’d have peace

With no more suffering or pain

Anything was better than being in the abyss of hell

With someone who said they loved me

And who said they were protecting me from harm

Well, WHO IN THE HELL was supposed to protect me from YOU?!?!?

I Have A Story To Tell.

For years I was hollow and numb to any feelings other than

FEAR. PAIN. ANGER. RESENTMENT. LOATHING. HATRED.

I’d built a fortress around my heart to protect me

From anything he hurled my way

I’d begun to “fight back”

And give it back to him just as good as he did

But in due time I was dog-tired

Once the veil of grief over the loss of my dad left

Darkness was replaced by light

Hints of the “old Laura” started reappearing

Around year 4 or 5 of this hellish time

Healing began slowly

But self-torment took its toll

I Have A Story To Tell.

I kept thinking: HOW MUCH DID I REALLY HATE MYSELF???

To have sacrificed so much of “me”

To be with a “man” who treated me this way

To think THIS was LOVE?!?!?

To settle for this ABUSE?!?!

Eight years of living in constant “fight or flight” mode

Eight years of 24×7 verbal, mental & emotional warfare

Only I and a few close friends & family members

Thought maybe he was bi-polar & needed medicating

It took me years to realize that

I married a narcissistic, sociopathic MONSTER

What did I have to show for it?

Was it really worth my life?

This man was killing me slowly from the INSIDE OUT

Without laying a single finger on me!

Chronic ailments I initially blamed all on menopause…

Migraines, insomnia, back issues, fibromyalgia,

PTSD, IBS, anxiety attacks

Just to name a few

ALL souvenirs from a life of hell

I Have A Story To Tell.

Your arrogance & self-righteousness

Know no bounds

You broke me down

To literally almost nothing

You crushed my soul & shattered my spirit

Out of sheer joy & amusement

You shackled me every which way

You could to control me

You snuffed out any dreams

I may have once had

You were the little boy who cried “wolf”

More times than I can count

But yet you never left me

I had to leave you!

You lost a wife & two sons

In the time I’ve know you

For your lying, cheating & abusive ways

You constantly preached to me & your son

“Whatever is done is the dark will always come to light”

Well, AMEN to that!!

Thank God I am finally in the light

And away from the likes of you

Because you see

YOU pathetic coward

I am taking my life back

Out of solitary confinement

And from the pit of cold darkness

I EMERGE!

I Have A Story To Tell.

I struggle to adjust to all of this new light

I survived that which was meant to kill me

I survived a pure, maniacal monster

A devil with nothing but pure, selfish evil

Patience, love & forgiveness

I am gifting to MYSELF

Unlearning & relearning

How to live WITHOUT YOU

I Have A Story To Tell.

No more eggshells

No more shackles

No more SILENCE

No more monster in my bed

All are now replaced by…

New found JOY

New HOPE

New FRIENDS

New LIFE

New LOVE

New PEACE

New HAPPINESS

New PASSION & PURPOSE

I Have A Story To Tell.

Out of sheer pandemonium

I found my STRENGTH,

My COURAGE and my VOICE!

I’m teaching myself the “Art of Self”

Self-Love, Self-Respect

Self-Trust and Self-Care

All the things our marriage lacked

NEVER will I EVER make the same mistake

It’s MY TIME now…

Time to heal

Time for peace

Time to make up for 8 years of hell

And more importantly

Time to share my saga

I Have A Story To Tell.

My story hopefully shows that

No matter your background, childhood

Family situation, education or career status

If you are in a toxic, abusive relationship or marriage

YOU are NOT alone (like I thought for those 8 years)

You’re NOT crazy (like that monster would have had me to believe)

You DON'T have to stay

You CAN survive

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You CAN get out

FIND YOUR VOICE

TAKE BACK YOUR LIFE

SEIZE YOUR PEACE OF MIND

That is so precious

Despite how scary it feels

You CAN start a new, happier, healthier life

Your life depends on it

I Have a Story to Tell

And…so do YOU!